| from Dr. Kathy Koch |

Are you a “wow mom”? Do you have a “wow mom”? Did you?

Mother’s Day is 1½ weeks away. perhaps you’re already thinking about it.

If you want to be celebrated in a certain way, consider letting someone know. No one can read your mind. Maybe you can speak up rather than waiting to be asked. I’d hate for you to be disappointed when you could have perhaps prevented some of the awkwardness by being honest with someone. It can be nerve-wracking for those who love you. Maybe you can make it easier for them. 

If you want to celebrate your mom or someone else, you could ask if they have preferences. I think they’ll feel honored that you asked. You might be surprised by what you learn and you could still add a surprise or two if that’s important to you. 

Who else could you celebrate? Do you know a single mom? Maybe invite one to join you for a special meal. In advance, you could ask permission to spend some time with her children and help them make cards or gifts to surprise their mom with. You could even give them a few dollars and take them to a store to choose a little gift that declares “I’m glad you’re my mom!” 

Many of us know foster moms. On Mother’s Day, how could we let them know we’re grateful for the way they’re loving children and making families.

Do we know moms with adult children who have moved away or passed away? They’ll miss their children especially on this day. Maybe you could include one or more of them in a celebration or a meal. Or, call one or more and willingly listen to stories about their children. They’ll appreciate that.

We all know women who have affected us well even though they’re not our moms. Perhaps we could all make a point of saying “thanks” in meaningful ways. We’ll make their day! 

And, what if I asked you how you want to grieve if you need to? My mom passed away in July, 2009. Of course, I don’t grieve my loss only on Mother’s Day. But, on many Mother’s Days, I do miss her more acutely. I grieve for my nieces and nephews who didn’t have her with them longer than they did. When I think in advance of how I want to remember her and the love we had for each other, the day is easier. I already know that this year I’ll reach out to at least two of my friends who have also lost their moms. I want to learn more about their moms and I hope my friends will enjoy telling me stories. 

One of my favorite memories of Mother’s Day happened one early May when I taught second graders. My students knew my favorite complimenting word was “wow.” We said it in class when great things happened and I wrote it on their papers when I was pleased. Frankly, it was easy to write and they could all read it. 

One day one of my students happened to grab a paper upside down and before he realized what he had done, he said, “Miss Koch, you put ‘mom’ on my paper instead of ‘wow.’” I couldn’t understand how that could have happened so I walked toward him. Then I saw it. “Wow” upside down looked like “mom.”

When I helped this student see it, he and the rest of the students thought it was the greatest thing. Their proclamations that they all had “wow moms” still makes me smile. 

Are you smiling now?

Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), is the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, banquet talks, and other events. She is a regular speaker for Teach Them Diligently, Care Net, Summit Ministries, and Axis. She also speaks for other organizations, churches, schools, and pregnancy resource centers. In addition, she hosts Celebrate Kids conferences through their Ignite the Family conference division. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio, she was featured in Kirk Cameron’s movie, Connect, and she has written and published five books with Moody Publishers, including Five to Thrive, Start with the Heart, Screens and Teens, 8 Great Smarts, and No More Perfect Kids (with Jill Savage). Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University.